This week I’m attending the Gartner I&O Conference – or the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference 2018. It used to be called the Gartner Datacenter conference, but times have changed. Now the scope of what we must architect has expanded. Is a datacenter just what you manage on premises? Is it your public cloud environment? What about IoT and Edge? All of these are important when building Infrastructure, Operations, and Cloud Strategies.

Gartner I&O Conference – what is it?

Gartner describes the conference this way:

The adoption of fast-moving technologies and methodologies – from Cloud, Edge Computing and IoT to DevOps and AIOps – are cutting across the functional roles of typical infrastructure & operations teams, challenging their skills and demanding a new kind of dexterity. The day of the traditional data center may be waning, but IT infrastructure and operations – increasingly digital and distributed – aren’t going away. Are you and your team moving fast enough?

The sessions so far have been exactly as advertised: lots of talks created for the IT ops folks on cutting these technologies.

Everything old is new again

There are several technology tracks offered from Cloud Strategies and Futures, to Managing Evolving Cloud and Hybrid Infrastructures, to Agile and Automation, to  Leadership and Cultural Transformation.

In several sessions (including the kick-off keynote), attendees were encouraged to become better partners with their business. We’ve been talking about this for a while. By this time I’d like to think that we all know this is the basic starting point for anyone on a digital transformation.

An Emphasis on Edge

The sessions I’ve been attending have focused on the Edge. I really enjoyed the definitions given for “Edge” and Edge Computing:

Edge Computing is a component of a topology:


The edge is where people and devices connect to the networked world.

All of the presentations I attended pointed out that all of this is very new. Organizations are starting to plan out scenarios that make sense on the Edge. Things are so new and there are so many different ways to consider that much of the advice was still pretty vague.


One of the best parts of the Gartner I&O Conference is the ability to interact with analysts, IT infrastructure leaders, and the vendors who serve them. It is exciting to be with people who are working out what our datacenters will look like in the next five to ten years.

If you aren’t in Vegas for this conference, you can follow the live action on twitter by following the hashtag: #GartnerIO. 

What you can learn from analysts

Sometimes as technologists we give analysts a hard time. We think they can’t be technical enough to be understand the reality of the market. For a handful of analysts that may be the case. But as I found out yesterday, there are many analysts who are doing the hard work of talking to vendors and customers about current and future plans. They try to make sense out of emerging tech like Edge. They go on the record early with what they think will happen.

Maybe we should listen to predictions and challenge the assumptions that don’t seem possible, and look back in five years to see who really got it right.